Meet the Doctors
Dr. Ron Remick
Dr. Remick trained at Johns Hopkins University and George Washington Medical School before immigrating to Canada in 1974 where he completed his specialty training in 1978. In 1986, he was recruited as the Assistant Head of the Department of Psychiatry at UBC; he founded the Mood Disorders Clinic there where it continues to enjoy an international reputation for research in its field.
Dr. Remick has published over 200 articles, letters and book chapters in a variety of scientific journals. He currently fulfills the role of Medical Director at the Mood Disorders Association of BC, a Canadian not-for-profit organization, where he pioneered the introduction of patient-focused group medical visits.
He strongly believes that educated patients – “informed consumers” – are most likely to receive the best care; it is this philosophy that drives his approach to patient care.
Click here to meet Dr. Remick
To hear Dr. Remick speak about Fitness is Medicine click here.
Dr. David Heilbrunn
Dr. Heilbrunn studied medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and completed his postgraduate training in both psychiatry and psychoanalysis at the University of Toronto.
At the University Hospital of Western Ontario he developed and led the psychiatric outpatient and group therapy program. In 2000, he was recruited as the Medical Director of the psychiatric outpatient and group therapy program at Surrey Memorial Hospital. In addition to leading group medical visits for the Mood Disorders Association of BC, Dr. Heilbrunn is a member of the faculty at UBC and is a staff member at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. He is currently President of the Western Branch of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society and serves on the Ethics Committee of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society.
Dr. Philip Brost
Dr. Brost completed Medical School at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, as well as Psychiatry Residency at the University of British Columbia. He is now a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, having completed his specialty training in 2014. During residency, Dr. Brost gained extensive experience in Mood Disorders, having trained at several hospitals and community sites within Vancouver Coastal Health, PHSA, as well as Providence Health Care. He is very pleased to be a part of the MDA team.
Dr. Taiebeh Jukar - currently working out of North Shore shelter-Lookout Housing and Health Society and not available to be seen at the MDA site
Dr Jukar received her medical degree in Iran in 1998 and practiced as general practitioner for few years before going back to university to research in immunology and pharmacy. This brought her to Canada where she persued her clinical studies in psychiatry in University of Alberta. In addition to working in MDA, she is a member of Vancouver ACT and AHBT teams at Vancouver general hospital.
Dr. Fidel Vila Rodriguez
Consultant Psychiatrist; rTMS Program
Dr. Vila Rodriguez received his MD from the University Autonoma of Barcelona, in Spain, and completed his residency in psychiatry at Saint John of God Mental Health Services (SJD-MHS). He received his Master of Advance Studies in Neuroscience in 2007, by the Universitat de Barcelona (diplôme d'études approfondies).
Dr. Vila Rodgiguez moved to Vancouver in 2006 where he completed a clinical research fellowship focusing on complex and co-occurring disorders at BCMHAS. After completing Psychiatry residency and Clinician Investigator Program at UBC, he received the UBC George Davidson Scholarship Award, the significant Contribution to Research Award as well as the Association of Chairs of Psychiatry of Canada Annual Research Award.
Currently, he is a practicing psychiatrist subspecialized in the use non-invasive neurostimulation therapies.He directs the rTMS program at the Mood Disorders Association of BC. Academically, he is the Assistant Professor, Director of the Schizophrenia Program at the Department of Psychiatry at UBC and the Non-Invasive Neurostimulation Therapies lab at UBC (NINET.CA).
Dr. Caroline Coombs
Dr. Caroline Coombs, ND is a board certified naturopathic physician with a special interest in mood and pain disorders. Her approach is to focus on getting to the root cause of any issue rather than masking symptoms. The interventions she uses are evidence-based and often involve nutritional recommendations and digestive support to decrease inflammation and ensure that the body has all the micronutrients it needs to heal.
Caroline was born and raised in New Brunswick where she completed an honours degree in microbiology at the University of New Brunswick before moving to Vancouver in 2008 to obtain her 4-year post graduate degree in Naturopathic Medicine from the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine. Through her schooling, Caroline fell in love with the natural beauty of British Columbia and decided to stay in Vancouver to start her practice. In addition to her work running group medical visits at MDA, Caroline maintains a private practice in Kitsilano where she also lives.
Dr. Leslie Wicholas
Dr. Leslie Wicholas graduated from the University of Calgary medical school in 1998 and completed her specialty training in Psychiatry at UBC in 2003. She then practiced on the Provincial Child Inpatient Unit at BC Children’s Hospital until 2016, working intensively with children and families facing a wide range of psychiatric and medical challenges. In her role as Clinical Director, she introduced and piloted a new model of trauma-informed care, transforming the way psychiatric care is delivered to patients.
More recently, Dr. Wicholas’ interests have focused on the burgeoning field of Nutritional Psychiatry and the role of inflammation in both mood and pain disorders. She is currently training with the Institute of Functional Medicine, which utilizes a unique, mechanism-based approach to identifying and treating the root causes of chronic disease.
Dr. Wicholas has designed a series Group Medical Visits for treating mood disorders and chronic pain with a specific focus on addressing underlying inflammatory components of illness. She is currently piloting this program at the Mood Disorder Association.
Dr. Karl Torbicki
Dr. Torbicki studied microbiology at the University of Guelph where he took part in international development work abroad and in research at the Hospital for Sick Children before starting medical school at the University of Toronto in 2006. He began psychiatry residency at UBC in 2010 and graduated in 2015, with clinical exposure to mood disorders, sleep disorders, mindfulness and other psychotherapy modalities. In addition to his work at MDABC, Dr. Torbicki is also an inpatient psychiatrist at St. Paul’s Hospital and a consulting psychiatrist at the UBC Centre for Sexual Medicine.